Claremore Daily Progress

Sports

September 6, 2012

Mike Stoops uses own brand of motivation to get to OU's Jefferson

NORMAN — The digs are constant on Oklahoma’s practice field. Defensive coordinator Mike Stoops has a needle and he uses it like an acupuncturist.

“He tries to push you and drive you. And he does,” safety Tony Jefferson said. “He can get under your skin sometimes.”

Jefferson fully understands the goading. He talked to some of OU’s defensive backs from 1999-2003 that played under Stoops during his first stint as defensive coordinator/secondary coach. Jefferson knew what was coming. OU’s junior free safety has become one of his main targets.

It’s not bullying by any means. Play for Mike Stoops long enough and you know those jabs are endearing and purposeful.

Jefferson has the ability to be the Sooners’ first All-American defensive back since Quinton Carter in 2009. Stoops is trying to push any button he can to squeeze that kind of production out of him. Last Saturday against UTEP, it helped produced a team-high 10 tackles and pass breakup.

Jefferson’s season got off to a fine start. He’ll try to build on it when the fifth-ranked Sooners (1-0) face Florida A&M (0-1) 6 p.m. Saturday at Owen Field.

How Jefferson goes, so goes the secondary. Moving him to that free spot after spending two seasons at nickelback was one of the gambles the Sooners took going into the season. There’s always a risk when a player changes positions. Will he adapt to the new position?

Jefferson isn’t alone. Only left cornerback Demontre Hurst started against UTEP in the same secondary spot he was playing a year ago. Javon Harris has shifted from free safety to strong safety. Aaron Colvin has moved from strong safety to right cornerback.

The result was holding the Miners to 48 passing yards.

“I think the coaches did a really good job of putting guys in the right position this year. We’ve got guys where they need to be and it shows,” Jefferson said. “They’re making plays.”

Text Only
Sports
  • DSC_0237web.jpg Hrdlicka, Teter pour ‘heart’ into Zebra soccer program

    For the past four years, Claremore High School seniors Katelin Teter and Nick Hrdlicka have represented the ‘heart and soul’ of the Lady Zebra and Zebra soccer programs.
    The soccer duo will join seven other seniors on Friday night for Homecoming against Collinsville at Lantow Field.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • DSC_0014web.jpg 9 straight for Lady Zebras

    Claremore sophomore forward Bailey Steckline got the ‘hat-trick’ plus one Tuesday night in the Lady Zebras’ 10-0 win over Tulsa Memorial at  LaFortune Stadium.
    Steckline tallied two goals in the first half, and added two more in the second to complete her impressive night.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0156web.jpg Tulsa Memorial holds off Zebras, 2-1

    Tulsa Memorial scored a pair of first-half goals  to steal the momentum away from the Claremore Zebras, as well as the 2-1 win Tuesday night in Metro Lakes Conference action at LaFortune Stadium.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0015web.jpg BASEBALL: Whatley, Howe power Zebras past Tahlequah

    Claremore’s Matt Whatley has proven over the past four years that he’s one of the toughest outs in the Metro Lakes Conference.
    On Tuesday, Whatley went 3-for-4 with two singles and a triple while sparking the Zebras to a 12-2 win over Tahlequah in five innings at American Legion Park.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • BASEBALL: Dewey takes pair from Sequoyah

    It’s very difficult to win when you can’t score.
    Class 4A third-ranked Dewey blanked homestanding Sequoyah 7-0 and 2-0 in a district doubleheader on Tuesday, improving to 21-3 with a dominating two-hit pitching performance in the opener and a four-hitter in the nightcap.

    April 18, 2014

  • SOCCER: Sequoyah topples No. 15 Catoosa, 1-0

    Sequoyah boys soccer coach Bob Campbell had one phrase to sum up his feelings following the Eagles’ game with 15th ranked Catoosa at home Tuesday night.
    “We’re in the driver’s seat.’’
    Alex Bourgeois scored late in the first half and Sequoyah made it stand up for a 1-0 victory over the Indians in a showdown for the district lead.

    April 18, 2014

  • Jackson sprints Zebras to 1st place at OBU Relays

    Claremore senior sprinter Tyler Jackson felt the need for speed Wednesday afternoon at the Oklahoma Baptist University High School Invitational.
    Jackson notched a pair of first-place victories in the 200-meter dash and the 400-meter dash to help Claremore earn 130 points for top honors.

    April 18, 2014

  • BASEBALL: Arkansas Tech roughs up ‘Cats

    The Rogers State University baseball team had a disappointing finish in its home finale as No. 12-ranked Arkansas Tech blanked the Hillcats 11-0 Tuesday evening in non-conference action from the Diamond Sports Complex.

    April 18, 2014

  • BASEBALL: Houston Baptist clips ORU, 11-10

    Jose Trevino launched his second home run of the series on Saturday afternoon to send the game into extra innings, but Houston Baptist plated two runs in the 10th to avoid a three-game sweep with an 11-10 win at J.L. Johnson Stadium.

    April 20, 2014

  • SOFTBALL: Henshaw's 11th-inning HR lifts Tulsa past UTSA, 2-1

    Senior Haley Henshaw's home run in the top of the 11th inning gave No. 16 Tulsa a 2-1 win at UTSA and complete the series sweep Saturday afternoon at Roadrunner Field.

    April 20, 2014